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  MSNBC    NOW With Alex Wagner    News/Business. Alex Wagner.  
   Forces driving the day's stories. New.  

    October 3, 2012
    12:00 - 1:00pm EDT  

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clasp, richard wolffe, msnbc political analyst and former dnc communications director karen finney and deputy washington bureau chief from "time" michael crowley. last night conservative pundits whipped themselves into a frenzy of expectation, previewing a video of president obama they predicted would change this election as we know it. the daily caller which eventually posted the tape tweeted, obama bombshell video coming soon. check back here at 9:00 p.m. for the full story. the drudge report ran the massive headline obama's other race speech. and just before air time, sean hannity teed up the earth-shattering discovery. >> bombshell is about to be dropped on the 2012 race for the white house because tonight you will hear from barack obama like you have never heard from him before, a video has been uncovered. it contains some of the most divisive class war fair and
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racially charged rhetoric used by barack obama. >> what piece of sonds pulled from the deepest archives would instantly dismantle president obama's campaign, his entire presidency and forever change the course of the country? a 5-year-old video that everybody saw five years ago. the bombshell of the widely covered speech at hampton university features senator obama talking about the federal government's response to hurricane katrina. >> when hurricane andrew struck in florida, people said look at this devastation. we didn't expect you to come up with the almighty hand. down in new orleans, where's your dollar? makes no sense. tells me the bullet hasn't been taken out.
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>> conservative pundits defined this as racial rhetoric obama makes the point that problem's actions were not racial bias. >> look at what happened in new orleans and the gulf coast when katrina hit. people asked me if they thought race was the reason the response was so slow. no, this administration was color-blind in its incompetence, but everyone here knows that the disaster and the poverty happened long before the hurricane hit. >> while the video does, perhaps, not meet the goal of ending the president's chances at re-election, dusting off the vintage tape does return the focus to the man the gop wishes would actually disappear or shape shift into a nonhuman form. president george w. bush. >> if the republicans want to defend the bush administration's response to katrina i'm sure the president would give them his time during the debate. >> as long as we're talking
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about troublesome videos this clip of congressman paul ryan weighing in on the makers and the takers rose to the surface last night as well. >> before too long we could become a society we were never ever intended to be. we could become a society where the net majority of americans are takers not makers. 70% of americans get more benefits from the federal government in dollar value than they pay back in taxes. so you could argue that we're already passed that tipping point. the good news is, survey after survey, poll after poll, still shows that we are a center right 70/30 country. 70% of americans want the american dream. they believe in the american idea. only 30% want the welfare state. >> which video is more sensat n sensational? more of a game-changing contest modifier. joining us from the site of tonight's debate in denver is the man who knows from game change, emmy darling, "time"
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magazine and msnbc senior political analyst whose publication is out with an issue today, who's telling the truth, the fact wars. mark halperin, i've been trying to find appropriate terms that would be substitutes for the phrase game change. i can't. you coined it, you own it. which of these videos, is either one of these videos a game changer in terms of tonight's debate? >> alex, any student of political tv and cable news who didn't watch hannity last night i pity the fool. it was an awesome episode of the show and i mean, if there was some mastermind trying to figure out how to change the game with that video, i think they kind of failed. some people are talking about it as simply for the base to energize the base. mitt romney is no longer running for the republican nomination, he's trying to win a general election. the things that might energize the base, that help to undermine the credibility of his effort
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with the mainstream media, if i may use that phrase, i think just aren't helping him out. that was a wasted day and lost yesterday after tie org wying og news psy cycles in a row. whoever was doing that on his behalf, ridiculous. >> the nipping at the heels, we've talked about the offense versus defense. mitt romney was maybe getting back on his feet a little bit and then this comes along and not only is it not an effective tool, it's sort of -- in some ways, makes romney look like a chump, the fact that his own party thinks this is what they need to do. >> well, they need to be -- to win the election it's pretty clear. the president's advisors would tell you they need to be talking about the economy. they went after joe biden for his gaffe on saying the middle class has done poorly under the president, but i think, again, they're trying to do things in this tactical way that just hasn't worked for them so far
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and i think every day they're not having mitt romney out forcefully explaining what the president has done on the economy, is not a great day for them. now, he's in a better place than a lot of the pundits have suggested but i don't really think they have days to waste on things like this and the backlash against it was so strong. when drudge tees something up, even though he tilts right and even though a lot of people denigrate him, it gives the republicans an opportunity to dominate a news cycle. when they cry wolf with a 5-year-old video, it undermineds something so effective as a delivery mechanism over the years. >> i want to open this up to our panel here. karen, the debate, structure of the debate tonight, three segments on the economy, one segment on health care, one segment on the role of economy. no question on vintage youtube clips which is a total bummer to those on the right hoping for more of this. it is teed up to be a debate about big ideas. is mitt romney going to deliver?
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>> i am sure that part of the reason this video is out there, just the day before, is to give romney the opportunity to, perhaps, reference it when you talk about the role of government, when you talk about the economy, he's got some phrases he likes to use about more people being on welfare and all of that, so i would imagine we'll hear some of that. i actually disagree with something mark said. i think this was very much a play for the base. even our nbc news poll, 23% of people said, that 47% comment made them like mitt romney better. so there are people out there who agree with those comments. >> aren't they locked up already? that's a question -- >> no. because remember we've also seen reuters has had the polling and a lot of polling that show some low-income southern whites are thinking he's too richy rich. what it shows is he's still in trouble with his own base and now, you know, obviously the way the white house is trying to set this up, the president is going to talk about vision and specifics and specific plans and really trying to, you know, make it such in the same way we did
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with the conventions that, you know, president obama was specific and governor romney just attacked. i mean that's the frame they're trying to deliver going in. >> i do want to spend some time on that paul ryan 70/30 clip, richard, because that, if anything, cements that narrative more. writing in the times today, journalists have found working-class voters who believe that obama is a secret muslim and intend to vote for him anyway because, as one virginia put it, at least he wasn't brought up filthy rich. this assumption that the wealthy republican candidate is inevitably a candidate for the wealthy as well is a big part of what's been killing romney's campaign. >> right. let's be clear the kinds of people that paul ryan was talking about include seniors, people who are drawing social security. >> those takers. they just take. >> taking more from the freg than they are -- federal government than they are paying in. they happen to be the numbers that vote in large numbers. if you're a republican and deficits with minorities and
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women, you need those white seniors to show up in large numbers for you. maybe they won't really understand that they fit into this category. there is a fair number of people who think this other people who are drawing on government subsidy in one way or another. but that vision part of this debate is going to be interesting because mitt romney has set himself up for some pretty difficult territory. are people on social security the kinds of voters that you are talking about, mr. romney, in this debate tonight, when you say government is paying too big a role in people's lives. that's a tricky one for him to walk out of. >> are the elderly moochers? he's going to have to answer that question. >> service members on disability? i mean same thing. >> coming on the heels of the romney campaign trying to use joe biden's biden-esque turn of phrase the middle class has been buried and you know, biden has walked that back, you know, is it an indictment of the
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president? look if you're going to fight for the ground on the middle class i don't know that joe biden is the person you want to be sparring against. >> he is by far the best middle class, working-class figure in this race. but to me, the hannity, drudge, obama thing, the ryan thing, i mean, really? this is all they got? i mean, i found the -- i found nothing that obama said in that speech objectionable or disagreeable, similarly, i find ryan's thing not -- i mean there's a sophisticated and legitimate argument to be made about, you know, entitlement and size of government and all that and i didn't find his version of it, so provocative -- >> i will say 30% of the country wants the welfare state this notion that there are people at the bottom of the income ladder that want to stay there because they're lazy -- >> the value judgment. the same kind of value judgment that romney made, perhaps. why they're birds of a feather.
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those people are just lazy moochers and they're happy to be that way. >> he didn't conflate the people as badly as romney did, who are getting government welfare -- government benefits with people who believe in the welfare state. 30% of americans probable dloi believe in a strong welfare state. fine. but -- and that's, you know, legitimate. so -- and again, i just think we're getting to the dredges of shocker videos and should perhaps move on to an interesting subject like romney's suggestion that we should cap all income tax deductions. that was an interesting thing he said the other day and it got buried in this junk. >> michael, in terms of the big issues and actual policy prescriptions, kurt does make a fair point, romney has been dropping these kind of little hints about specifics about whether it's a $17,000 income deduction or maybe continuing the president's policies executive order on amnesty for the children of illegal immigrants, how much of that do you think we're going to see this evening? >> i think particularly on the
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tax plan, i would expect him to float out specifics like that cap on deductions, but i'm not sure it's really a solution to the problem he has. in other words, it's not clear to me that this cap on deductions solves the problem with his tax plan which is that it has to be revenue neutral, allow a lowering -- and allow a lowering of the rates, the math doesn't add up. the romney campaign says the analysis that claims this is flawed and done by left wingers but that's actually kind of a silly response. what i think he's doing now is offering little bits of specificity to create a sense that the plan is all worked out, it's solid, we've run the numbers, and he's concealing this big problem with it, which is that he either will have to raise taxes on the middle class or increase the deficit. i don't think that this exemption piece he's spelling out solves that problem but it creates an appearance of specificity and you might see them do that in other ways because they are on the defensive. i thought it was striking that paul ryan was asked by a voter in the crowd the other day, can
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you please be more specific about your plans. this was clearly a supporter. and i think they are clearly feeling the heat. after stepping back, realizing a lot of the specifics of their plans don't test that well in the polls or not what people want apart from a larger vision to fix the economy i think they are going to be throwing out bits and pieces but again, i think some of it will be a smoke screen. >> i think the operative word there is smoke screen, going to the spelling bee and saying i don't have time to finish this word but i win. our prime time coverage of the debate begins at 8:00 p.m. on msnbc, a 9:00 p.m. tip-off. first i will see you on hardball at 7:00 p.m. president obama calls him the president of explaining stuff. where bill clinton is expected to speak in a moment. we will bring you some of clinton's remarks and ask obama press secretary ben thirnds bolt labolt to give us a preview of the president's strategy ahead on "now."
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the tour through governor mitt romney's tax plan has a new turn and it's just as blind as every other turn. let's go through what we know starting from the most basic. >> so what we're saying is plug all those special tr loopholes so everyone can get their tax rate downs by at least 20%. >> after facing relentless questioning about how to lower everyone's rates, cut an undefined number of exships and remain revenue neutral governor romney tried to lower expectations last week. >> by the way, don't be expecting a huge cut in taxes because i'm also going to lower deductions and exemptions. >> how exactly would the plan
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make up for the massive 20% tax cut? if, in fact, there is a 20% tax cut? far from detailing how the plan would break even congressman paul ryan refused to say what tax cut would cost in the first place. >> how much would it cost? >> it's revenue neutral. it's -- >> i'm not talking about cut. we'll get to the deductions but the cut in tax rates. >> the cut in tax rates is lower all americans tax rates by 20%. >> how much does that cost? >> it's revenue lowering. you can -- >> i have to -- you haven't given me the math. >> well, i don't have the time -- it would take me too long to go through all of the math. >> yesterday mitt romney finally gave in, sort of. he didn't detail the deductions he intends to eliminate, but at least offered a few suggestions. >> you could say everybody is going to get up to a $17,000 deduction and use your charitable deduction or your home mortgage deduction or others, health care deduction and fill that bucket, the
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$17,000 bucket that way and higher income people might have a lower number or do it by the same method that bowles-simpson did it, limiting certain deductions, that's the sort of thing you do with congress. >> so there you go. that's the sort of thing he's talking about. romney's campaign emphasized after the interview those ideas are actually not part of his plan writing -- mark halperin, as you know, i'm an easily confused person but i think for even people like you who are not easily confused this is very confusing. is the romney campaign betting they can get through by just confusing the american public into submission? >> alex, if i were the kind of person who got depressed by a lack of specificity and seriousness in presidential politics i would be very depressed.
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this cycle you can judge? in different ways. the lack of specificity is ghouling for three reasons, two serious guys, two, the country has big challenges and three both campaigns are enunciated this principle on big important serious things, rather than have the candidate be specific at all about what they do, they say really it's better for the public to have this the rashed out with congress after i'm elected. the president says the same thing about social security reform. i find it unorthodox and maybe i need to cover a few more to cover the romney campaign, a major float of a proposal in a local television interview the day or two before the debate. seems like the $17,000 cap -- >> bucket. >> is actually, i think, an interesting idea, but it's not one that governor romney is apparently actually proposing and not one that his campaign is answering specific questions about. why he's going to throw something out there on the eve of the debate is a little unclear to me but it is
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incumbent upon him. this is the center piece of what he's runni inrunning. you can theoretically offset if you scale back enough deductions but to do that requires a powerful president to take on a lot of special interests and with no mandate by talking about it specifically, i don't know how he can possibly accomplish it. >> kurt, $17,000 bucket, dropped quite literally on the eve of the debate and you walk back, walk back and say maybe not that bucket maybe a basket of a different shape and size. >> it's very interesting. for him to say that, here's what mitt romney was saying, he was saying let's mean test federal tax expen tours, limit to $17,000 a precise number how much you can deduct all in. that means rich people, people who have more than $17,000 in deductions, ie his base, lose out in that. moreover he said then continuing, and maybe people with higher incomes wouldn't get the $17,000. which is why i -- so he moved
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really left in this which is why i think his spokesperson came out and said no, no, no, the governor is going to maintain distributed neutrality, not just revenue neutral, but distributed neutrality because i'm sure they were suddenly saying, whoa, dude, no, rich people got to keep all those deductions. >> here's the thing. you guys are talking about this like it's a serious policy idea. it's not. it's a tactic. it is a communications tactic. when you talk about things and say my plan, you know, number one we're going to do this and number two feed the dog and number three we're going to walk the dog, people -- they don't really hear about the specifics. >> orderly proceeding. i think that's more like walk the dog and then, you know, have dinner then we're going to go to mars. >> [ inaudible ]. >> when he's talked about his five-point plan. throw out 17,000, sounds like a specific. we have to realize a majority of the country are not getting the level of detail we are and everybody knows in a 90-second answer if you can just make it sound like i'm going to call it
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the reagan this or the -- people think it's a plan. okay. he's got specifics. >> i agree with 8090% of what mark said and policy specifics are a window into the candidates but at the same time this will all be hashed out by congress and we can dwell and obsess over the numbers and how they add up but really, we don't know what the composition of the congress is going to be like, these plans dramatically change -- i went back and read the transcript of the first obama/mccain debate where obama was hammering mccain for proposing to raise taxes on health care benefits which is what obama did in his health care benefit. i'm just reminding people a lot of what we're hearing you have to take with grain of salt that big picture priorities usually are followed through on. but the details get swept away -- >> also -- >> the one big policy thing that romney has done is walking away from and at least with president obama, i mean we've got obama care, we've got the jobs act, we've got some actual ideas that he has put on the table, things
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he has done in the last four years to say, we can see what your philosophy is. we can see what specificity. romney won't even give you that. >> the wall of obfuscation, brick by brick. mark halperin, we haven't talked about the coverage of "time," the debate special and we're not trying to depress anybody here but the thesis here written by one of our friends to the show, michael sherry, he talks about how voters are just increasingly less demanding of the truth, that political fibs we can get away with them and things like details on tax plans doesn't really matter to the american public anymore. your thoughts on that? >> it's a great cover, we put it out a day early in part so people could look at the debate through the prism. it is -- there are lots of problems with our politics and political media culture and we can't solve all of them and some of these things have been around forever. it is true even with more media and with more opportunities to have serious discussions on tv and on the web and elsewhere, these two campaigns are running
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campaigns that -- where there's no penalty for not telling the truth either about their own ideas or attacking the other side. everybody working for the president, everybody working for governor romney knows what's going on. but we don't have any process in place, any mechanism in place to discipline them so that when they can be called out in a way that corrects their behavior. the cover story details that and i urge everybody involved in this process including jim lehrer to try to make the last 40 days better than what we've seen so far. the country deserves better and these candidates are better than their campaigns in terms of trying to actually tell the truth about the challenges we face. >> thank you to emmy darling mark halperin for leaving us less depressed and less confused than when we started the hour. thanks for your time, mark. >> thanks, alex. >> coming up, not so great expectations, both campaigns try to lower the bar ahead of tonight's debate we will try to sneak a peek inside the playbook. smoke screen and strategy with the obama campaign's ben labolt, just ahead.
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no matter what state you live in. ♪ coming up -- one pollster calls it the demographic development of the summer. it is a big reason why governor romney trails in battleground states and also a key factor behind the obama camps push to present the republican nominee as elitist and out of touch. >> there are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter who who, who are dependent upon them, who believe they are victims, government has the responsibility to care for them, who believe they're entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. >> we will examine the widening gap among blue collar women ahead on "now." [ female announcer ] need help keeping your digestive balance? try the #1 gastroenterologist recommended probiotic. align. align naturally helps maintain digestive balance. ♪ ooh, baby, can i do for you today? ♪
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former president bill clinton is expected to speak at
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the university of new hampshire in just a few moments. since his home run convention speech last month clinton has become the obama campaign's most effective surrogate, even president obama suggests he might be best employed as the secretary of explaining stuff. so as election day approaches how closely will obama takes its cues from the clinton playbook. joining us now from chicago is national press secretary for the obama campaign, ben the thunder labolt. ben, it's great to see you. >> thanks for having me, alex. >> ben, let's talk about the secretary of explaining stuff. a lot of discussion about the president, we've been hearing remores that the obama campaign is trying to make sure as he doesn't come across as too long winded, professorial. bill clinton a master of the form. what is the biggest lesson the president has learned from bill clinton's performance at the dnc? >> i think ultimately what president clinton did was crystallize the economic argument and economic choice before us, because we built the economy from the middle class out during the 1990s.
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you saw where that led us to a government surplus in 23 million jobs created. the republicans in the next decade, did all the same sorts of things that mitt romney would like to do today, passed a tax cut for the wealthiest that led to the lowest pace of job creation since world war ii, stripped back oversight from wall street a financial house of cards that collapsed in 2008. so president clinton made clear this isn't some sort of economic theory, we've tried these policies before and you saw where we ended up. let's pursue those that work. >> ben in terms of the strategy, we were talking about the fact that mitt romney has been trotting out i won't call it stakes, maybe dried pieces of chicken in terms of policy specifics, the $17,000 bucket, et cetera, is there concern that these are enough of a distraction to turn the dynamics of the debate away from a more aggressive posture that the president might take vis-a-vis
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mitt romney's obfuscation. >> the american people will be tuning in for specifics tonight. they know mitt romney can ably attack the president. he's done that the past year and a half. i don't think they're going to score punches about how many zingers or punches he lands. they'll look for an explanation. how do you pay for the $5 trillion tax cut for millionaires and billionaires without raising taxes on middle class and seniors. every explanation provided so far and there haven't been made, you raise taxes on the middle class to replace it. what's he going to replace the affordable care act and wall street reform after he repeels them. he's opposed to the president's policies but the american people will be tuning in for specifics from mitt romney. >> ben, if we're being fair here a lot of questions for mitt romney, also some significant questions for the president and "the washington post" has an editorial out that says what does mr. obama offer the jobless that makes them hopeful about the next four years than the previous four? we don't know.
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>> a tough series of questions from "the washington post." your response. >> i don't think you'll hear platitudes from the president. you're going to hear specific plans. he's talked about building the economy from the middle class out and investing in energy and education. he's got a specific plan to do it. he set the goal of creating a million manufacturing jobs and laid out a plan how to do it to end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. he has a plan to reduce the cost of college tuition and further reduce our dependence on foreign oil because of the plans he's implemented we're at a 16-year low. i think you'll see him delve into those details tonight. we'll leave the zingers to the saturday night li"saturday nig t re-enactment and mitt romney. >> i have not said zinger and now i have. is that going to be enough for the american public?
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>> no. it's not actually. you know, all due respect to what's going on in chicago but the fundamental problem for the president is not just about the economy, it's the political system as it currently stands. and he has lots of specific plans, he had a jobs bill lined up, he's had these plans for some time. the question is, can anyone execute on anything within this environment? if the projections hold true and i'm sure ben in chicago and the president won't want to accept the projections but if they hold true, we'll end up with a congress that looks pretty much just as it does today, same president, dealing with the same dysfunctional congress, house controlled by the republicans and nothing will get done and in that environment, voters not uj reasonably will say well how does this get better? >> i think that politico yesterday, ben, outlined questions or statements that might haunt the president in these debates and one was i'm going to change the culture of washington and washington's culture hasn't changed. the president would say that's
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no small due to the fact that republicans have been historically obstructionists but, you know, there is a sense that four more years what's it going to get you? >> i think that americans have seen a president who's always reached across the aisle throughout his career, whether that was in illinois to pass campaign finance reforms, in the u.s. senate he reached across the aisle and worked with a conservative senator like tom coburn to create a google for government data base where taxpayers can track federal spending and willing to sacrifice democratic orthodox, make tough spending cuts in other areas the democrats may not. the republicans on the night of his inauguration, republicans like paul ryan, were already -- had already come to the conclusion they weren't going to work with this president on anything. that was their political strategy. you heard it from mitch mcconnell, top priority was defeating the president, not working to aid the economy. and i think that the american people will reject that at the polls on election day. we already know that was a failed governing strategy, but i
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think americans are going to say, that was a failed political strategy. we want both parties to work together. the president is willing to reach across the aisle to make tough decisions and republicans should be willing to do so as well. >> ben, i will ask you one quick but very important question, which is, are we to believe that the president is going to be existing in a zinger-free zone tonight? there will be no actual zingers? >> i can guarantee you that nothing is going to rhyme or -- nothing in a ridiculously cheesy category. i can't promise he won't be sharp and quick whited at some point during the debate. >> from obama headquarters ben the thunder bolt labolt, thank you as always. >> after the break too little too late despite having months of alarming poll data the romney camp is seemingly only trying to play catch up with women and latino voters. ♪
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lean cuisine. be culinary chic. the new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll confirms what we've known all along that mitt romney has a huge ground to make up when it comes to women and latinos. a live look at denver where senator marco rubio is trying to do that speaking at a campaign rally for governor romney. president obama currently leads his challenger among women by a 16-point margin, 56 to 40%, and his advantage among latinos grown to a stunning 50-point gap, 71% to 21%. aware that it needs to address the yawning deficit with the voters the romney campaign has been appealing to both groups on the campaign trail and tv ads and interview with the denver post romney tried to soft somebody of his previously hardline immigration rhetoric saying he would honor president obama's order providing amnesty
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to the children of illegal immigrants. ann romney stressed the softer side of mitt. >> in colorado you know you need someone that has compassion, and that has the capacity to understand what people are going through, to have the solutions and get the job done. >> at times the attempts to court these voters has been even more ob see kwee yes. >>. >> i love you women! >> but has the damage already been done? in a new article in the national journal ron brownstein writes with one key voting block noncollege educated white women. or as brown stein refers to them as waitress moms. through a targeted and sustained appeal to working women on display in obama ads like this one the incumbent has been particularly effective and brown stein's piece he writes democrats say blue collar women
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have been the principle and most receptive target for their extended ad barrage portraying romney as plutocrat. on airing these on dr. phil and judge judy the strategy seems to be paying off lifting obama's numbers among a group that tilts republicans in swing states that will be a key to victory in november. ask you about this, this late stage i call it a late -- i don't know what i called it a last stage gaps when going into the commercial break, but we've -- this has been something we've seen in the numbers for a while now, romney has a problem among latinos and women and in particular, you know, the latino demographics, 70/20 are terrible numbers. bill clinton got the highest percentage of the hispanic vote in '96, 72%. looks like the president is on track to do that. you see these piecemeal efforts from the romney campaign. cantor media reports romney ran 2100 -- 2,169 spanish language
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ads from mid april to the end of august. he ran 2,855 in the first 23 days in september. >> yeah. well look, i think when -- if romney loses and we go back and do the autopsy you're going to start to see the depth of his campaign, you can trace it back to the primaries when rick perry joined the primaries and came at him and the way we took perry down, he made a fool of himself but what did at least as much damage romney attacking perry on immigration and saying he was soft and weak and he was going to be tough on immigration, talked ability self-deportation and this language. that is damage he has never repaired. that seemed to form and solidify way back in the winter and spring, and i just think there's only a limit, there's only so much you can do with advertising unless you want to completely flip flop and change your policy -- >> the etch a sketch. >> romney just hasn't done that actually. one thing you've seen in the campaign he stuck by things more
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or less rather than perpetuate the idea -- >> i agree with you on 80% of that. the statement that he might continue the president's amnesty policy would sort of be like a $17,000 bucket. why are you saying that now? that's a reversal of everything -- you've been talking about illegals and magnets and hardline immigration and now all of a sudden talking about amnesty. >> it's weird as we've seen in our contexts that beginning once he hat the lock on the nomination make the pivot until four weeks before saying that fake dream program is okay. they look back at the last several elections and george w. bush arguably won his two elections with that extra 10% of latinos that he got because that's 1%, 2% of the vote. and those were very close races. similarly with women, i mean if romney does as badly among women in this election as these polls say, it will break a record.
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i mean we've seen gender gaps of 8, 10, 11% in the last several elections between democrats and republicans, but -- >> 16. >> if it's in the teens that will be a new record. >> and i think karen, we were talking about this during the break, ann romney going out there and saying i love you women. it's not all ann romney's job but such a simplistic strategy with women and then look at as ron brown stein reports a micro targeted strategy to speak to women on issues not just the 47% stuff but the reproductive stuff, speaks to women's paychecks, speaks to their pocketbooks. >> the thing we talk about, months and months ago that the republicans did not understa in terms of this language ability the war on women for women it's not just about equality and rights and reproductive health it is an economic issue. these women in that poll on the pill, they know how much they pay. they know how much they pay for that is money not going to something for their kids and most working moms, my single
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working mom this way, would give up something for herself before she would give up something for me to make sure i had what i needed. for those women this is a very, you know, very serious issue and again, the fact that there's been such a lack of respect for women and i think also, in this 47% comment, i mean, you know, for people of color a lot of the language is very disrespectful for working people, a lot of the language is so dismissive and disrespectful, it's not just a matter of ticking off issues, it's people kind of hear your disdain. >> it's not just -- you can't -- which is to say maybe you couldn't have even etch a sketched it if you tried. >> the nondogs are hearing the dog whistle. >> i don't think that's true. i think they -- remember, there is -- there's certain moneys that only became available to mitt romney when he took the nomination but he had all of that super backed money being spent on his behalf. now there's a critical question here about the kinds of people who donate to those super pacs, would they have wanted him to tack back to the center, would they have wanted that money to go to that.
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he could have done it. >> he didn't really try, did he? coming up, the three-ring circus that has been this election season begins the final leg of its tour in denver tonight. can voters afford the steep ticket price? i will explain why america isn't get its money worth and my post-script coming up next. [ male announcer ] how do you measure happiness? by the armful? by the barrelful? the carful? how about...by the bowlful?
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and now to my post-script. if predictions are correct, tonight's 90-minute showdown at the co corral will feature a volley of zingers, whammy, got yous, jabs, sizzlers, possibly it will feature a substantive discussion of the role of the american social compact. something the republican party has shown a keen interest in changing if not entirely overhauling but only possibly. if there is one request i might humbly make of mitt romney, the man most likely to come armed
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with the goch chas and zingers, it is this, think better of the people to whom you are speaking. for nearly a year now, the american public has sat on the sidelines of a republican circus headlined by former pizza magnates, lunar colony advocates and more than a handful of candidate s wheeling to deal frm the bottom of the deck to reach the highest office in the land. mitt romney is the ring leader at the center of this carnival and shown a surprising talent for the shameless hux sterrism displayed by former nominees transparent and craven political tricks meant to divide the country and stoke racial and class tensions and impressive vanishing act regarding the details of his tax code, position on women's health concerns and foreign policy and national security. and he has proven adept at walking the tight rope at great heights by refusing to take a stand on any issue of any substance at any time this entire campaign cycle. the problem with this clown show is that while it's been entertaining, the ticket price
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is also very high. as the gop verges on going from grand old party to tired old side show americans are denied a functioning two-party system, a robust debate that is at the very heart of our democracy. so, governor romney, kindly set aside the youtube clips, the you didn't build thats, and the conservative dog whistles that guess what all of us can hear, put up a good fight, an honest fight, in the end politics may still be a circus, but the country deserves more than just peanuts. thanks again to kurt, richard, karen and michael. that is all for now. i will see you back here tomorrow for post-debate analysis at noon eastern, 9:00 a.m. pacific when joined by savannah guthrie, former governor ed rendell, professorer michael eric dyson and james lipton of inside the actor stude yop find us at facebook.com/now with alex. "andrea mitchell reports is next.
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good afternoon, andrea. >> we are live in denver at the site of tonight's first debate, first presidential face-off. a preview from both campaigns with obama deputy campaign manager stephanie cutter and romney senior adviser former missoury senator jim talent. michael benefit from colorado on the changing political landscape out here in a battleground state and chris cizilla, dan balls and jonathan martin with a viewers guide on what to watch for tonight. "andrea mitchell reports" live in denver on msnbc. >> i'm meteorologist bill karins with your big travel forecast. big changes in the midwest but until the cold air arrives a warm day from minneapolis to kansas city, all the way coun through texas. we do have a soupy airs mass, humidity in the air along the eastern seaboard. a chance of showers, but they will be isolated during the day today. the cool air arrives in chicago
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[ male announcer ] if you think all batteries are the same... consider this: when the unexpected happens, there's one brand of battery more emergency workers trust in their maglites: duracell. one reason: duralock power preserve. it locks in power for up to 10 years in storage. guaranteed. so, whether it's 10 years' of life's sunny days... or... the occasional stormy one... trust goes a long way. duracell with duralock. trusted everywhere. right now on "andrea mitchell reports" -- debate night in denver. the stage is set for tonight's first faceoff as president obama and mitt romney work on their game plans today, our new national poll shows that the president is still in the lead but romney is closing the gap slightly. 24 hours before the debate, joe biden handed romney new ammunition in a stump speech about the republican tax plan.